It%s not the critic who counts

Joe Groglio

Some people in this world are all talk. The thing that really bothers me, however, is when people talk about something that they know nothing about. Even more irritating is when these individuals who are so quick to criticize have no direct involvement or association with the topic of discontent.

This column may be seen as a direct response to one writer%s column a few weeks back, in which he criticized the Villanova football team. In reality, this column is directed towards anyone who plays the Monday morning quarterback role.

If you are not involved with an organization, you have no right to criticize it. Nobody except for the members of that group, such as players and coaches, have any idea what is really going on. Outsiders can%t see the blood, sweat and tears that go into every week%s game. Coaches spend their entire year creating game plans and poring over every detail and strategy that will make their team victorious on game day. Meanwhile, players put every ounce of their energy into practice. These players sit in meetings for hours, watching film and learning from their mistakes in order to get back out there tomorrow and do it all over again. If you ever have any doubt about the difficulty or legitimacy of Villanova%s football program, go watch a practice. I assure you these doubts will disappear.

Aside from practice and preparation, players spend four days a week working out in the weight room and conditioning, usually done at a time in the morning when the rest of the University is still sleeping. Also, let%s not forget the training room. Football hurts. It%s no coincidence that former players far removed from their playing days remain in agony from past injuries. Getting these ailments healed does not just invovle a bunch of guys sitting around waiting to be taped. It takes rigorous work both after practice and at 7 a.m. during the week to rehab an injury, which may range in severity from a sore hamstring to a torn ACL.

But I%m not just talking about football. As a proud member of the football team, I did take particular insult to the column in question, but my words here are fit for any team from our acclaimed basketball team to our women%s club water polo team and anywhere in between. Anyone who is willing to dedicate his or her time towards representing our school on the field, court or pool is deserving of respect from me, from you, from anyone. Any criticism coming from our own fellow Villanovans is uncalled for. If someone misses a key shot, or fails to make the save on the game deciding goal or gets beat downfield on the game winning drive, what%s important to remember is these people, win or lose, are the best athletes in the country. The percentage of Division I athletes to students across the country is so low that I can%t even find the number (too bad I didn%t pay more attention to those old NCAA ads on ESPN).

Even if we make a mistake or play lousy or never see the field, it%s important to remember that we are still good enough to be out there wearing the -V’ on our jersey. That alone makes us something special.

To laugh at us for losing games or to say that certain athletes here have egos is completely ludicrous. First of all, every single team in every sport has athletes with large egos. That comes with the territory, and the reason for that is that competition fuels these egos. When going into battle I would much rather have someone who knows they are the best rather than someone who thinks they may be the best. I wouldn%t even call it ego, I%d call it pride, or perhaps even heart.

And that goes right back to my point. As Villanovans we should all have pride in anyone who represents us.

I%m as big of a %Nova Basketball fan as anyone else. I%ve been coming to games for 20 years now, but that doesn%t mean I don%t go out and support our many other teams.

However, there is room in our hearts to be a fan of every squad our school has to offer.

Just think about the hard work and long hours that go into every game a team plays here at Villanova.

I could not be prouder to be a Villanova athlete. Every time I run out of that tunnel on game day and see the people who show up to support the program, it reinforces this pride even more.

The next time you feel like criticizing a varsity team, or any group for that matter, think before you speak (or type). Either that or come try out for a team because I guarantee after enduring what we go through every day, you won%t be spiteful anymore.